College students listening to a university lecture

While we have entered the current year with universities closed because of the pandemic, it is still useful to know how to get the most of your studies, even if your lectures and seminars take place online.

What Is the Difference between Lectures and Seminars

At the lecture, students are introduced to the main topics of the course. The lecturer does not interact too much directly with students. A lecture is typically based around a slideshow presentation and is given to a big group of students in a theatre setting. It is obligatory to attend lectures. Usually, you can upload presentation-led lectures online afterward. However, it is much more beneficial to participate in the class and have it explained by the professor.

Seminars are the interactive complements to lectures. Students are stimulated to use their knowledge of the lecture and additional materials to get their group work done, take part in discussions and ask their tutor questions. Seminars are held in smaller groups in a classroom setting. For each module, students must attend a one-hour seminar each week to strengthen and assess the information they learned during the lecture.

How to Get Prepared

To get the most of your sessions, you need to get prepared. It will encourage you to contribute.

First, you need to know exactly when and where your lectures will take place. Make sure to check your university email account regularly, as lecturers use email to notify students of any room changes, rescheduling, and cancellations.

While most lecturers require students to complete some preliminary reading, you should not do too thorough research beforehand. In this case, you might find out something other than what your lecturer is going to tell you, and this can complicate your comprehension. However, by gaining a general idea of the topic before your lecture, you will feel more confident.

The first thing you should do to get prepared for your seminars is attending lectures. If you do not, it will be too complicated for you to take part in seminars. You should also read your lecture notes carefully and write down questions to ask during the seminar while the information is still fresh in your head. Your professor will also require you to do additional reading and complete tasks before the seminar. These, along with your existing notes, will count towards your seminar preparation. All the extra materials present different perspectives on the topic and are designed to improve your critical thinking skills.

How to Act During Lectures and Seminars

Even if you are tempted to write everything that is said in your lectures, do not do so. While writing something insignificant, you may miss out on useful information. Usually, lecturers provide handouts or presentation slides after the lecture, so we recommend listening to your professor carefully and jotting down only the key phrases.

At the lecture, the professor introduces the topic and provides new information. Do not be shy to ask questions or clarify something if you need to. Sometimes, lecturers may want to dedicate extra time to discuss your questions. On the contact hours, you should stay concentrated on the study material. For example, by sitting in the front row, you can eliminate the temptation to chat with your fellows.

At seminars, do not hesitate to be vocal and raise any interesting points or thoughts – taking part is vital to making sessions effective. By getting engaged, you will improve your comprehension of the material and learn something new from your class fellows’ various standpoints. Just as with lecture notes, make sure to reread your seminar notes while you are still switched on.

How to Get the Most of Online Classes

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all the students are familiar with remote learning. As we begin 2021 with a national lockdown, educational institutions have moved their program of teaching online, and, obviously, they will continue using virtual learning for some time.

While more and more students now turn to custom writing services with a request, “write my paper online“, it is important to grant online lectures and seminars the same significance as those held in person. You can still use various services to help you cope with your papers, but that does not mean you can skip the important contact time with your teachers.

You have to get ready for and take part in virtual lectures and seminars, similarly to in-person classes. Do not simply log in and listen. It is also significant to read additional materials, take effective notes, ask questions, and read your notes afterward.

Here are some extra tips on making your remote learning effective:

1. Get your tech set up

Your classes can last for one hour or more so it is preferable to use a computer instead of the phone. To fully participate, use a device with a working camera and microphone. And make sure your internet connection is stable.

2. Pick a suitable place to study

It must be a space where nothing distracts you from your classes. If there is some background noise, consider using headphones to focus.

3. While some online lectures are live, others are pre-recorded

Consider making a timetable of live lectures and attend all of them. They are often interactive so you are expected to comment and share ideas. Keep in mind that the online schedule may differ from the one you followed on campus. It is also best to watch pre-recorded lectures once they become available to eliminate having a backlog of unwatched material. These lectures are typically more about providing you with knowledge. By understanding what you are expected to do on sessions, you will reduce stress and get better prepared.

4. During live classes, make sure to mute your microphone when others are talking

Your behavior should be appropriate during the classes. Avoid speaking out in a session if it is not requested, as there may be hundreds of students taking part in every class. If your teacher asks for questions at the end, you can write down all the questions you have during the class on the sheet of paper and ask them later.

5. Find out where recordings will be saved

Probably, the most beneficial thing about online classes is that you can watch them again if you need to.

6. Discuss the lecture with your class fellows

Discuss any points you are struggling with, debate different points of view, and talk through the set of assignments. It is very convenient to do this on online discussion boards. Also, make sure to join all the informal/non-mandatory sessions. Some classes have break-out rooms after a class to discuss the material. Do not ignore them. They are perfect chances to gain a better understanding of content, and to meet other students. Also, do not hesitate to join clubs and societies remotely, get engaged and contribute. The more you are involved, the more effective your learning is.

7. Speak up if it is not working

Remote learning is a new experience for teachers too. If you think that the class’s content is not engaging enough, share your thoughts with them. Suggest any ideas that might help you participate more, including quizzes or opening comments to encourage discussion.

8. Be kind to yourself

You may have situations when your internet connection is unstable, or your computer stops working. Accept that not everything depends on you and you cannot control all the things. Do not forget that most lectures will have slides and notes available that you can catch up on.
This article was written by Ester Brierley, a competent virtual assistant and a content strategist for Write My Papers, knows the secret for balancing freelancing and her full-time job as a QA Engineer in a software outsourcing company. As a seasoned content creator, she adores researching cutting-edge digital and lifestyle trends and sharing them in her writing pieces. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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